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10 PRAXIS

ILANDSCAPE A GENEALOGY

UIRBANISM:

CIHARLES WAL'DHEIM
~I"HT; ~<lft~~COIl~ l!rb.olsm I.

(m~.atler;led I>i •• tra!O!jic deplOlil'"


fDQ'~'t

This edition

of PRAX.IS and its focus on landscape designers

point to one of the more the

Oot precesses;

balllln~UJl'~1 5.eQum1C(I· f o

~ndmen,.,ad•. Pha,inQ dia9r~ms


enert rile proj~[lted

iend5cape"rrecls.
Compelill'on,

D.....ns'rcw Pa~k

presslnq issues facing contemporary


relationship between

of the bum environment:

TOrOtIlO, PMsinQ

Dii!grams. Ja!'nl&S COiI'ner (l1'!1!j S~all Ail".! Fii'I~OperaiIOll~.

natural environments

and processes

of urbanization and

glloba!lly. This essay offers an introduction other desiqn professionals

to recent shifts 'in how architects

conceive of this relationshlp.

For many architects,

landscape has become the model and medium through


urbanism is best apprehended.

which contemporary
landscape is

Across a ranee of disciplines,

the' liens throuqh

which the contemporary

city is representee
are evident

and the matein the ernerdescribes a

rial from which it is constructed, gent notion of "landscape

Thes@ sentiments Landscape

urballism."l

urbanism

disciplinary

realiqnrnent currently

underway,. in which landscape

is usurp-

illQ architecture's

historical role as the basic buillding block of city makinu


advocatinq

Among the architects currently

such an approach

is Stan Allen:

YiALDHEIIIt

LA.NDSCA?E

URBANISM

11

-~
I

2(nO

211111

PHUiIII rr~.,,·"IIiIitIIi:~tI.~~ ~....!.n ..... _r.=TiIilII.N~.,g:


~_~i;:tMW!!~Iw..·MtIiI!

",M~UI

~1I!Oi"""'~

--....... =-=.;y,...

l=r==~~

... fir,Ir!Ilu.Ml"1 .... ~""""M'5Op. ~"!11._""'<l7~

12 PRAXIS

Inc",~asi ~gl'{, 1an.~ srape is ,emerging as a mode I 'lor lIribanlsm. 'Lan.dscape Iilas tra<!iliona:i1ybeen de'flunl?d as Ine art 0'1 organliZ'ing hcrtzontal surfaces" ... By piJlyil1:genoS€! t.t€!,nlion to,these' a surface conditlons-not only configuration. but also materiality a~d p~rlormance-designers
can activate space and produce urban eIfe't~

nistic pastorel

parks-reinforces by engaging
6

disci,Pli-' in styli.ze,dl from the Gedd,es

Given the enormity of the social and environmental twentiel:h disasters over century. left ill the wake 01 the course 0:1 tlhe ,arci'litect.ure industrialization

nary stere,otypes

and decorative scenoglraphy. Landscape urbanism long-standing mental throllgh himself plalnninq-from Lewis MumlNd a, Qmdllate

benefits Patrick

postmodern

fiflle.:lge of reqlonat environ1,0 Ian McHarq-yet and 'faculty

reheated 10 tihe corntortin{J forms of permanent citin(j

nostatII'n

gia and seemingly stable, secure, and more forms o~ urban arrangement. ercnltects

witho'ut the weighty apparatus ollraditiomllll s~a,(:~i'I'I akin~. 2 Thlis effi,ienq-the' elfects '"<Hiitionally construetion ,abilHy to produce urban achieved lhr'o~gh ~h,e

remains distinct from that !~aoition." Corner. student member

El!Jrop,ean precedents lor tra,dit~ona.1


I~rac-

urban lo"m. postmodem liced a kTno 01 preemptive

at the' University of PemI5y~vani,a


of Yet

at Ihe end of MCHaro's ~enure at 'Penn. acknowiled!je.s the' histortcal imporlance McHarg's book Design with NatUlre,

ston, deslQruinqlndividual
invoke an absent: context, architectural

of buii'dings Ihuo!lgh the orQan-

cuttural reg resbuildiUlgs to' as if r1eighborly'

ization of horizontal surfaces-recommencs landscape as a medium: tor addlressing the increasingly of tl1e rapidly conternporarv ,apparatus" common urben conditions transforming of de-d,ensllication and sprawl. In the context

character alcneccutrt lurn the' discipline'

Corner rejects the opposltion of natura <ind tiily lmplledIn McHarg's regionalliv scaled

tide on a centu"y of urban transformations.


The growth of the urban design
during!

conditions

of

WOl,ctice,~ For Corner, the narrow ecologh:ai aqenda that


environmental planning man,y McHargians more
t'han

this time sought

to extend this work

01 urban ordering through ttle agq'regatio,riI 01 alrchitectUiral 'elements ;i110t'nsemb!es of ncstalqic urban consumption, What had enclaves of been pl,anning albdicated aUogether. seekirng "ef'uge in the inellecbual The ocstrrrodern ra:ppeHe !loliey, procedure, and publiC Ihers,py.'·

urban culture, the "weigMv

subscribe guard

10 is nothlnq
de/eme

or traditional urban design proves cost I 11., s row, a nd inl texib i e.

a n"ar

(ri a

supposedly autonomous cuuurai construction. urbanuzalio.nl, and pastoral

'nature' c'once'~\led Given the face oj

10 e'~ist a prtorl, oll!siele o! human a'Qiency or


ORIGINS

'l,he formulation
iSllf'

of '"landscape as, urbenarticulated by landscape in his

global
appear

current-davenvrronideas of !s,ndscape

I'ordre loss, ,of

was first

mentalism

indlcted modem ism lor the supposed n;ineteenlh-century bor!!" erchltectural trian scale, street grid continuity,

architect

James Corner

reseercn

in

to many as naive or irrelevant.

urban values of pedes-

'the mici-90;s,,3 Comer, in partn,ership Stan Allen, directs tice directed toward developilng

with I'OSINODERNI'SM In many 'll!a,ys. the origins urbantsm can betraced a crttlques 01 modernist of landscape snd to-the postrnodern ;;lfchliledure

and neigh-

Fiel'd Operetlons, ,., pracIm;!W

character. Of course" as the postmccsm motivated witlh by the mulfipla

has ilieen weill documented', moment desire was prillcipally for communication

syntheses among the vartous plines. Corner synthe'tic afl,d ~ma.gjnative

design discire-ordsrinq

argues that only thwugh

01

cahiq,ories in the bunn enllironmGmt we escape our present predicament cul-de-sac ollhe

miQ'ht in the and W'or'k

,plannino 'in the lat,e 1(3'70s.lInd early 8,OS.9 llhese crltlques, championed by cnartes
Jencks and other proponents of postrnodto produce a

ot post-rndustrtat

rnodernllv corner's

ern architectural
modernism "meaningful" an hlstorlcal consclcusness," communicate proclaimed almost

cutturs, te'llded to, indict


pub inc rea'im,,'Q for o'f collective' it's ilnabillitv aucl[eo(es." architecture."
1'91("

eudlences and the cemmoclrlcetlon 'ot rnarkela 01 arch i !ed'u ral i mages for d I~ersi· e lying consumer markets" Traditional urban design's dependence upon a, steady supp~ly
of substantia!, spatlallv sympattleticailly sty'led.and objects seouenced erchitectural

"tlfle bureaucratic

and uninspired

failings"

for lts inability or "livable'

planniing protesston,"

atso offers an explicit critique of i'andsc.ape arcnltectura's recent ercressrcnat evolution. which he claims is rnerked by many tandscaoe designers ellgaq;ed iii the creation of scen'lographic. screentna for otmlerwise'h.H·shly engineered Sind profiit·
5 optimized environments .. corner's critique

its failure to come to terms with the citv as construction and for wiith multiplle to In

could not be sustained given the advent ot


de·central:izatioFi

mobile markets. ilIlutomobfle cull,ur,e, antd the 01 cultural norms" The very
,oflradit~ona~

ind@terminacyandl flu,)! Q'~ the contemporary

ract, ttl!! '''death


e~actly

or modem
in
with

b,1' Jencks

es coincided
crtsts

dt)!'" the barn",


buiilding

EurOjle;an (ity orele," throuqh

rnakinq, in which building~ provide ttne basic b'locks 01 urban s,tability and permanence, have come to tle pr@c:isely the qualities point building traditional zone, ev,fidenced ill emeru'f'banism. This in space and ge,r:lt works of landscape

the' greatest:

is corrobcrated

by any survey
that

01 recent

01 industrial economy

in the US, namely. the' of consumer archltecturel

I!andscape projects

have reee;ived

shift ;owa,rc.lthe diversiI'icalion rnarkets.? Wh,at postmodern scenography


did

nationall <lwardsfrom the American Society '01 Landscape Archi'lec:ts" lor exernple, or' have been published in l.andscepe many Archl-

address

not, and in fad could not" were Ihe underlying structural


modernuty tendof urban

IS, perhaps
~rogmm

best exemplified
0'1 putlliic

Barcelona's
1'1 h lcllfocused

tecturs maga,zin,e. Willie

of these and great u biqu ltou


5

conditions of industrialized

projects in the 19805 and ,early 90s, p rfm arily Oil 'the center 01the Ca lalla " capital.. Today the push in metrlopolh:n flldlities has

projects are of obvtous interest

ingl tow<lrd the decentralization process continues

velw, tile Ia 11 d s cape


suburban
reproduced

'ilverage' ,office
public

work parks.

oj contemporary
the uncritlcatly

rorm, [specially i~ Nortlh, Amelrica, th:is


apace a~d has ~ro~ecl

arc h iteet u re - t he

~<! rce~on;ato lredev,elop lihe anr,,)or~. I'Qgn~tical

plazas, and the snacnrc-

rernarkablv lndltlarent to, the supsrflclal stvnsttc oscijIlations 01 architeciliral culture ..

indt.Jstru,.li waterfront

ri~er1ll'ays. and waterireatme,l1t

WAIoDHEIM:

LANIlSCAPE

URBANISM

13

F'AR'l.EFI!

: £S:C:II'~lf.lQ 1.rlldnliooil'l

I"nd',~~eIl"ilcllcc~ il'ict"~,~u. oj
llPpliQul!.l.nasca,pe U'~~"~nllil'lJtIlq' tS the amb[qullleS,OOIw@~n natlJrtll M

j".,.~nrU[ru""
Tho

and lOOn-m:u:l'.e!

lan_~lJ~

1,lnl~al ClolI'C'lllMf

p;r.t. aarc~ton., Joan Rot" and

E""leaalllc.
tJlDIl
L.(:

A~(j31 Phorogra;;r..

,li. pion becomws

~n

ueean-scale er!~cls.l'.r(

tt,em~i!Ee·l9'r Illnd~ .. caJ)1! d. L. Vlti.U<lCOlIIpeli·

Iron, ~1.el'l.l" Rom KooIh;!.~Ol'A~, lEn: Ela1>dl!'d 1K(j(J.~.,ma!lc lend'I<:~P<' "rq.nil~ ~~lIvl!l~1 Ihr on Soile~~ a slralified <horeO<lr aphy t'PMiM",. 'P'F< deLaVilI~tI~
CQmp~tiLraJl,D"""r.m 01 p"oQ'<)' m~lic Strips. Pem KOQlhaa~fOMA,

o.

less to do,with boildings and plazas and 611 to do wlith tarqer-scale taenm-centurv ullfrasirucillral lalrndscapss. Of course, many e~amp!es of nine· urban lalnds~ape arehttec-

Among the first tile sions competition

pr'ojects

to orchestrate

the most suitable medium thmugl1! whiCh to' order programmatic and' political chlange over time, ,esp~daiiy complex arrallgements ,of urban actlvltles. This continued Tschuml's rong"standinQ

urban p.roglf~m as a lancscape process was

for Paris'S Park

Pare

de 1<1 submis-

Vill'ette. 1111196,2,la Villette for an "Urban Century"

invited

11m? Integrate landscape wah i'nlrasln.rcture.


wilh Oilmsted's Central P<lrk iln New 'York and his Bad Bay fen,~ in Basion providinq canonical 'I;:>:arnples.Contra:5'~ing Ihis tradltion. contemporary practices o'f lands,cape 01 ecoloeurbanism reject the camouflagillg

lo,r Ih,€ 21s1 'r,ormer site i'he demoinierlsiv,ely

lnterest 'in reccnstttutlnq


archltec-

to desig,r11he 125-ane

event and proCjfill'iIl as legitimate

of Paris's largest sllauglllerliOUlse. andl it's repllacemeol with

lurall concerns in lieu 01the superficial slylls'~icissues whkn had!<lIomi~1lledarchitedlurai discourse inteNlst in, the postmodem era: The 70s wltnessed a ps'riOci of r,enewed

Ii l:ion 01 ~hE pefiphelra~ Parisian abattojre programmed public spaces is precisely liie

Hcalsvstems witll ~asloral imag:es of nature tllat inle,nid to provide stylistiC: andl s,pali<!1 eJ:('eptuons recommends systems 10 Imle gridded the urban fabric. Rather, contemporary lano';ca,pe urbanism

klnd 01 projec,[ ilncre,asingl'y found in postindustrial cities around the globe. Anticipatin(l more ni:'(en't design competjtlons Ki!ls be,low). formation in Northl America (see Oownsview and Fresh

in tine iormal~ constltutjcn

or

the

City. its typollo,gies and its morphologlies. While developing anetvses focused onthe justification. No hist,ory 01 the dty, this aUention was largely devoid ,of proqrammatlc

use 01 lnlrestr uctural

ra Villette

propcsed landscape Ibeen a

am!

Ih.e public

taaoscaoestbev

as t~e basic framework 'lor an urban transo'r what had formerly

anaiysi\> addressed the issue of the activlties thai were to occur in the city. Nor did amy properly address !he !act thst the organization of functions and events waSas much an architaetural ratio n of' forms er Equally significant polital1 Archilectme haas. Koolhaas's propnsed concern as the elabo""as the impact of the (OMA) and Rem Kool· of unplanned as

enQenoet as Ihe very ordering liIechan~sms 01 th,e urban Ireld ilsell!, cOIDa!J,le shaping 01 and shilting! settremenl the organization of urban rather than offering predictable

WQrl\,ng part of the city. lett d~rEli'cl by shufts


in scenomles '01productlon lion. The competuti(m and ccnsumpbaqan a trajectory' of
11 complex

ima.q:e.s1 pas tora IIperiection, 0


LA VILLEHIE: PROGRAM AS PROCESS

postrnndern urban pari( ma~ing in which

:,Iyles....

landscape itseH w6s·,eonceived' as


medium capable 0'1 articulaling Landscape recalled lormation. analog to ls a m~diUIiI, Allen. and as has Ibeen and others, <Jmong urben infrastructure, and indeterminate post-lndustrjal siiles.'6 01 the more than 47Q entries countries, the vast majority

re,lations

second place entry by the OHice tor Me-tlfounb,uilt second place entry

public ev~mls.

t>y Corner.
adaptation,

urban futures for lar'g:e, from 70 to

,uniQuely capable ,01temporal change, transsuccessicn, 01 These QUi!iuties recommend landscape as an contemporary processes urbanijzation and as a medium uniquely lndeterml-

tile luxtaposition

relations among various park programs its primary ofgarliz.inQ

tencec

concept. xcoinaas's

retrace ramil'iar profiles for public p.arks and typologies lor the recovery of the traditional cily. while two submissjens clearly signaled a lParadiqm shiUstil1 underway illlhe reeonception of contemporary 'rscnumrs willning urbanism ..Bemard a of landscheme represented

by now ,[[clled org,ani2atuonil~ concelt of


parallel strips of landscape radicailly juxtaposed irreconcttabte vertical juxtaposition contents. invoking 'Ihe of various programs skvscrapet

suiled to the npen-endedness,

nac\" and change demanded by conternpcnul' I.l'rban conditions. As Allen puts it:

on Oil(!jacent neors of Manhattan

, .. landscape

is no! on~y a lorrnal model lor

'ers as described "n De~ir~QusNew Vork.lB As


Kooltnaas conceived it, the infrastructure the park, was strategically oroglani.zed 10

urbanism loday. b~t ~er,hapsmore impori;)ntly. ., model lor proce55,1~

nuaneum !,eap in the development scape urbanism by formulating

landscape as

RIG~ T, Land ... po UJlbiJ~.m

r.
i3

ynlq~~ly eqt!IPIl~d 19.~d"ess urnan ",.1. d•• elo~m.nl .... pl>a•• 1i

LanlisGape'nrocess r~lhe.,- (han


realized built product. Spormburq Hlifoor

B«neoo i!lnd

RedP'vetoprnfi;iit,

.... rn5tc!'c~"'. Ph~s!nODi'lqt~ms. ,'~'fll~n Goozw~/esl, a LJnAISCalMl ""cllile(t5.

set of future

support an indeterminate and unknowable uses 'Oller ti me:


constant

lnqtul urban form in Ihe context: of speculati'l'e capital and t he ,au iomobHe: Modern building is now
$Q

De furtll1er alielcl from IKooll"naas's professed 'r::ng~lgemeni wilh the v'erl' mech,anisms ,global capltat, trom Koolh,aas'$ pra(lice ning a so-cat led nee-evant g,arcl'islposilfan (j.iooall brands is by now well docluculturat that lolllclrole as the urbanism. mented. lin :spilt'e o'f their divergent hOld concurred a" ordering

or

.. " " it ls ~,,~,~ pr'~did that dUrlngllh,e ~ile 01 to the park, Ihe IPrag~am wlll,under'go c!lange al~d adjustment The more the pa,k werxs, 1M more it willi be in a perpetruJlIl state of revision .. ' .. fhe' underlying principle of pmgrammatic indeterminacy as a basis ol the formal concept allows anI' shiH. modification" replacement. or subslltutlons to occur withOut damaging the inilial h'fpothesis}~ The prefects for la Vullette by Tschumi and, inlroduced postmodemer~enl medium of

Yni~ers<!ny condlurban form hes

of spiw

ticnso by optimized tech~al09Y th,l'~ tile posslbility of crea~ilig signmr:~nt become extrem'ely limne,eD. Tlhe rostricHon:s

jointly imposed by automotive di'S,tribution 8r11d the volaWe p,lay 01 land specutatlon serve 10 limi'! th,~ scope of' urban desiQn to such a !Iegrel' thai arl\' intervention tends to be reduced eiither to the m"nip~la'liorn 01elements predetermined by the lrnnerstlves 01 production, or to .. kind or' superficial ma,skinll w~ich modern d.evelopment

politIcs. by the end of tM last decade, Koo'lhaas ilnolFrampion scape had usurped arcbitecture's only rnediurn capable As Koolhaas put il ini1998: Archltecture is no Iionger the primary element 01 urban order. imreasnnqly urban order ls given by a thin ~Qriz.Qflt,al v~getal plane, inr;r~~sing~y landscape is the prlmarv element ot UWb1l1n Qrder.·~ Arguably a thIrd Significant cultural a "reaipoii'lik" opmentand planning of lsissez-Ieire publflc'pliivate
iI

Kool~'aas efleC'iivel'y

ern ideas ,of ojl8J1-.,mdedness and indeterrninacy a~d slQlnaled landscape's rete as a primery pcstmcdsrn olfe~edl conceptual urbanisrre

req~ Ires f'or the tac m ta!uon 01 rna rk~li n~ ami I he m1Iim lenance o'r SOtriOll control.
!l:)

O~er tile course instrument culture

01 tihe lollownng

decade,

layered, non-hiererBoth entries

Frarnpton's argument for architecture


01 local resistance unique
'II modicum

as an
globall

cl1ic;:I1.flexible, and streteetc.


<1,

to

posilion, c1evelnn

Iorm of nascent landsca,pe urbanoper; works that endeav" all manner oltJrbSln nmagined

concedesthe

role of land01 market-

economic

ism and! adlfoc,ated

scape iin pr'Ol'iding landscape,

enga\jemenl

ored to accommodate

based ,urban order. In this later Iorrnutatton, rattrerthan aDject meallinglul formalism, rela![ons affords, tha greatest peel o'! cons'tructil1Q lalbeul still slim) prosmarket production:

orecesses, is ertlcoleted

by Peter

ectiv'ilies, pl'anlned ano unplanned,

Rowe in Maf.tillg

Middle L;lnclseapeP

tnter-

alftd unimagined,
CUlTUI~Al

over lume.

estingly, Rowe's crmc:lu,sionsalre no! dissim'iiar, advo~aling ,6Clr'itical role ior the desj'gn dLsci·

CmlVERGENCE

1/i1rn~inthe detrltuse
nes grown lncreasrole as a viable

plunes in ccnslructinqe
traditional

me;;lninl\,lfu!

publi<:

In the wakeafla ern arcl!I'lectura!

VilleUe's rn'!ruence, post mod· culture The Oystopia Of the meqalcpotis Is already an irreversible hlstodcal fad: it hes lcnq since instailled ill new way of IHe, not to say a Imew

realm out 01 th'eH~~.·u"tJall "middle" urban centers suburbs, Framp'torn summalrizes rates Rowe's position: may be derived that priority from

Ibetween

and! greenfielld and lncorpofactors first.

in,t;Jly aware of tandscape's


iI diver~e' spectrum

iramel'lork for the contemporary city. Acro'ss of cultural positions. !anda meaningful an,d

nature ...

I would

submit 1M! il'lsteacl Vie need


tOllipen,illory

"'Two salient

scapI' has emerged as theHmly mMium with


the potentlatto lhe liHitinq construct viable public ~e'a'llTIil1lNorth Amef'ics,n dtles, of Kenlneth Frarnpton attests to In Ihe 1980s, Frarrtptcn '(his awareness,

10 conceive of ill remedial Rll~dscape that is capable of playing a criiicalano role if! relal'io~ 10 the ongoln,g, !les!r~clive oommo~l'Ikaltion ·of the mllf1·m<ldeworldl,l1 Of course,

Rowe's thesis:

shoulld now be accorded

landscap·s'. rather than to freestanding form, and second, nN!d to transform certajn

10 builit

that Iher'e' is a I'lressrfng

megallopoman
tots,

framploil'S

inltiOrestt in loc il I could not

types such as slhQPp~ng malls, parking

~arnein!ed the impossibility

01 making mean-

cu~tural resistance

to globalizatioll

and cmce parks into landscaped built farms."""

WALDHEIr.t:

LANDSCAPE

IJFlBANISM

15

II.Ii, N D 50CAP E U"'8.,11, SI.! A.S L E: NS I>U Another dimensilon of landscape urbanism concerns the use 01 landscape as ,a'cultural cahegory or lens for de5c,ribinq the conternporary cj~y:.,.Seemingly wlthout by designers .. andl certainly ~enelit of anything seen to, emulate tntervention without the

d ri PO! I·a p \~a ter; bel ween mossv heal hs and hot asphalltic surtaces, between ,contn:illed spaces ,and vast..wild reserves,.... ,",

a my land s!:a pE!architect k news, the I~n ~s(a pe itself is a medium II1rOl.l~hwhich a~1 ec,ological t,raflsac!h:ms must pass, it is the rnlrastruc!'ure ot the l'uture.l!I

L.A NO$CApE

IPROF ESSII',QN

While lendendes to account for urban COMlilions fn terms o'f landscape first emerged iin

CONIIE:M PORARV

,LAN DS eA PE PRACTIC E: landscape

that might be thought cities ere A'Qlain. authors

The \'Iork 01 many ccnremperarv landscape


1IS

0,1 as. plali1l,ninq, contemporary

nalmurai systems.

!he r,e'sea,rC'h and productton 01 <irenJt'eels., they are quickly ilnliltrating t.he eroression 01
lalld~cape architecture. naiit mainstream archltectura Although, the aom~culture

pract i ces ev ide ness 'I !"Ie ten de,nc\I to u:s€

remedial

sQlllve

tor

tile
<15

the lil'or~ 01 Koolhaas is, notable' 11ere, but


ag'lIill is echoed bv a host of omer I'I'ho d,eploy landscape metaphor tions." tor contemporary as a descriptive urban condiAilantalrom

wounds or the lndustrtal the nutsburu Nord

age. Pe'!f!lr La'!~'s Park in

01 landscape

may sH!I mal"ginalize

sua"
the

work tor ebandoned industrial sites. such Sleellvoriks Germany

ideas, tMy are hncreas"nqll' recounlzed as a 'liable aspect of the protesston's future. 'fhis shill is possible in part, dlue totact tMt d'iscipUne is.presently tural cutture benefiting kil1d oJ critical reassessment from the

and' Richar,d! Haag's G<l5 Works have taken up

An e~amplle of this tendency call be

Park in Seattle are both primary examples. Ma~y landscape architects browlnlield this work inl tne walle of public funding lor remedraUQn !In North America, by Harglreav,e·s Associamong others. Bargman, as seen in projects ates and .Julie

IOLJndin Koolhaas's essayon

S. M.l. xt:
Atlanta (10'15 not have th,e c~as$icalsymptoms o Ilhe c illy; it. is not den se: iI: is a sparse, ihin

Iha! <!rchitec:~n the wake of relevance On


iI

experien,ced

carpet o'r habiil.,tion, a Ikind o' supremattst Com~Q5"UQn or liHle fi~ld:o. Its s.lmmg~st
contextual! giverns are vegetal aM tntrastructuratferests dod roads, AUa~ta is no! a city; it is a ta ndscap e_:'6 This ~endency to use 13nd~scapeas a represen !a'ti<onaI lens '10describe ttle contemporalry dty rerninds us that landscape first existed as a genre of paintinq, a way of or 01 lin

modernism's demise. Landscape is enj,oying renewed variety and broadened 01

Arlother by now wlO.[l-es.tabJishedIlandscape practice is the untegration of transportation Intrastructurs ex'emplili:ed with public space. Thns is by Bar'ceiona"s program

rronrs

through

the increased

awa,reness o'f mass audiences with regarr'dto envl ron men tall'snd urbsn problems, as well es a critical protesslon reexamlnattcn of landscape of the lieldl's n,ist,oricai and "theoreticall construction" architecture recovery benelttedtrorn facing cities 'Hhls critical

of

public space and pefipllieral inglhe Batlleanll Trinitat

road improve-

Th,e
has and

ments in th~ lat,e BOs and earliy 90s. tncludClovetl,~a f Park by Enric and Mam~el Ruiisanchez. Joel) R'oi'g,and ParI< Poblenoll by

'rom a newloundre!evance

for tile problems

Xavi'er Vendreli

see·ing, before· it became activelv engaged in etther d.~signiU1gbu!U envlronments reordering natural contemporary

today.

Manlilandscape·

arcr.i-

While rhls geme oi work-the scape in the stitching urban tabrlca-hes

use or landinto

teets in ·the United! Stales have inilerited the

01 infrastrudure

ones,

The description areas,

metropclltan

prolesstenal activities that were once the domain 01 ptanners.as planning has largely
optad out of physical deslqn. For elamp!e, I'andscape architects nave become mcreasungly actuve inth·~ rsctamatton 01 post-indus" trial sites ilnd in the design 01mtrastructurst sites. Wh,ilesuch the unique activllies were once Ihe work of civtl enQiJieers and ISlnd planners, training and nlillerdiisdplinary natuse,!li!.mvities of randlscape arcnttects rally position olsclpllnes. Richard pras s i,ng urban

we~l-estabHsih.ed precs-

nsms, the 8arcel'ona perlpheral roadworll is distinct. It oflers publiC par,ksconc,ei~ed and constructed convevanee slmuttaneoustv wllh the !pub~lrc art,iilact ot the highw,ay, SylD!ly irnllecling

e·co'log~cal terms is. most evident which appropriates

in work of One

the terms. co.m·c'e·ptual

categ'oriies; and operating methcdoloqiss 'field ecologv: th·f!sludy of' the lmpuctt neering rela'!e to tnetr natural enviwnments,,v edvantaqes

01 spscjeses tlley
of landscape'

its desi(jn away~rom an optimized s.ynlhesiS o~ requirements

of civil engineering toward a more cornptex


dcrmnated proponents 01 landscape urbanism is; Adriaan muttineither Ib·Y civil engineering nor landscape. One of th.e mor'e outspoken lor the rene'wee! importance as a modet tor contemporary the DutCh GeLlze. principal Architects. 01 West

urbanjsrn over 'Urban design or clvll en,giis that it a,v,o:ids the ideo,logrcal o.pposilion of environmelfl,tal and infrastruclura~ systems. in lieu 01 modernist em;J!neer" ilng "solutions" tilrouglh the cilvil engineeror nestrrred~ng ·of natural environments.

them 10 address the most issues laciing the design tandscepe architect the landscepa

Australian

tancscape architect

WeJl.er describes

a.

Landscape

ernist urban de'sign desires for <I mythical return to Qrigins. landscape urbsntsm advocates Ihe conllation, ~ntegrat:ion. and f'Iuid aM infrastruc0'1 this discipliexchange 01 environmental and imagin,ative .... potential

profession's n ew found rele~ance:


Posl moder~ landS·!;<lpearchitecture has done iI boom trade im Cleaning up,atter modern Ii'lifrastructure as socleltes-In the 'Iirs!' wor~d at leasl~5tll1t from primary industry 10 oostindustrial, intorm~t"OI) scctettes, lin common !ilndsc.ape practice, work ts mo,re onen than no! cgnd'w:led in ihe shaoow ollhe inlrastwc' tural object. which is given lP,riQrlily over tne lier~ lnte which i t is !0 Ibe rnser ted. However. as

West 8's work erticuletes

pie roles ior lands·cape in the shaping ,01 contern porary reorclering practice urb.anism,·a imagunaliv,ely between ecology urbanism in wtnkh relationships

lural systems. Comer de'scr'ibes the poe'lie nary bre,aKdown as: 1M ly(iC~1 play be~wfl~n nectar and between birdso.ng and Bea,slie r:'hJilfaSII!,eet

and rilfra'~rtructuroe. Their ,ollice proposes a of tanoscspe the middle-scate 01 decorative tural work Js ebendoned I'arge-scale inlra.truc;lural or arcnttec-

in favor of the diagram and the

Boys, between the·.springtim~ flOOdsurqe and

smaJ!'scale material condition.

10 PRA.XIS 4'

West S'$ Sftel~ Projeclorljilnizes li(Jht mussel

dark

ana

Toronto, and F,resh Kills, sited OCithe world's


largest landl:ilL on Slaten Islalldi, New York, olfer perhaps

ieenih·oentuFjl

shells, and Ine cOHespolldinQ

i;i,clvoca!ion o,f landscape

flocks of sim~'Ol,ly shaoe'cI clark a01d tjght birds naluraHy adapted to feed from them.
Thesesurtaces
der alorrlg lhe

two

'01 tne most luHy-formed the detrltus 0'1 Ille indus·

model end I:heir 1nformed by <llibiq· ultous, \.I niversa I ·urba nism:

Olmstedian

exarn1 pies 01 cQrltempo~ary Iand sea pe IJ r oa 1)ism as apll'lieC!lo trial city.11 \IV hi Ie sigl1ilicantt distincHons exist bl;twe·e n the Iw,o commtssio ns, es Clodoub ts as to their eventIJai reaUzation. the body of work pr.oduced lor them reprssents an emerging consensus tnat designers of '~he

N~ilh~r

tih~me

p<I.rk nor

wildHie

preserve,

term parallel strips 01 sM~I' hi9hway t~at


COClI1e[ls Ih'8

[)Ol'lnS~ieill does 1'101 s,eelt 10 r·eMW US1l1~llh8

constructed

isla:nds 01 tlhe Easl Scheid! storm-tlde bsni·er. Thls work of landscape urbanism oruanizes an !!coloOY ·of natura,l
sel:eclion and renders it tor public lPercep-

CQnvenlions of I fad II Iona:! c~rk coroposlno ~s such as those ,0·1~e VauJ{ or Olmsted. 'TM

com bi mai i Om 01 adva n,e~ mill [awy I.~thnologjes \lIit~ water cou rses and IIOil'S and !lownstr~a ms
suqqasts enotner fMd. Uq:uid,digital sensibU·
Ity. Airs! rips, in I orrnatlo n ce rn te rs, p~bli( ~er-

non ~I,athe 1IutomobJ Ie, By COil!rSlS!, historical precedents lot ~rb"n par~1Nays, lyp ica,l1y
reproduce a paste ral ima ge of "nature" with'

b'ui!tt environment, across dJscip!ines. 'IiIOI.!!t:I


tiowe.l! to ~~am~ne lan.d5c~pe<l$ the medjurn tnrouch \!Ihkh to conceive the rertovatlon

or
rcr

lo(m~nce space S, internet <Inti \l!or~dwide web access a IIIpail'll towarca ~~eri nii ion o! re(ei\le~ ideas abou t POloks, nature, and reereatjon, in ,a

out Inllervenhlg Inll'h!?ir eco,l·ogical surroundiUlgS,in mw 5ubWInliaj way. Li~ewise, Westt


8':5 arnbilious5cl'1eme Amsterdam for Ihe 'Sch'iphol

t~w

posl-ln(i\lstria~

eHv.

Schemes

Downs .. ie\\! and' F~esli Kills by Corner and AHein!Field Op.eraliolls,!or


all d

twenty-Ii rrshc;enturvseWn9 where ,~~ery·tt~ us i ~g 'urbs n,' eVH~ in the midd Ie of the wilderness.32 Each o! the Dowrnsview and Fresll Kills proj'
acts lis notabls Qf consuttants, comj)eii~ion to orchestrate for tile presence
oflamd-

exarnpte.

Afrport t.andscepe abandons ttne profe~siom:a! tradition of specifica!ly de ta,jlle dl p!1lrlling plans in favor 01 a gene, al
botan~C<l1st rate\) II QI S'U nllowe rs, c ~o~eJ', and beehives. proje(;1 81' avoiding us <lble~o

propose Ihe accu,mUilallon

a:nd orchestration,

01 absoluh~~y diverse

lloleWi Hall II in COil" gru ous contents. Tvp lea I'of'tbis work, and by
now standard lafe lor projects 01 this type,

scape srctutecrs oniroterdisciplJnary

whereas

teams tl1e Js VHHeite

detailed

compost-

ate

tiona,l des~gns and p!antrng. diag~ams; !hre respond to Schiphol's

de'ttaHed: diiaQrams 01 phasing. animall habHals, successlon planting,. hydrol'ogicali


~ystem5, and procremmatlc
regimes .. While these dia:grams

named

a sinql(;' j·(;'ad arcnltsct

the entire project. Sinking

anc;! plarlningl may initially present

end consistent
invo!~ement

in

this

regard are the centr·a~


as well as urnfof'

programma!!, <mel polit~cal I~tures: !amlscape is conceived as a strategic partner' im tihe complex rpn)<cess or airport llii3Jnnin(j
rather Ih:am, (<lsislJsuall:y tlie Cllse) simply al1

of ecorcclsts

overwhelm with inj.ormation,tthey

an

und'ers.tandi,tiq

01 iiie

snorrnous cornptsx-

mation or communlcanon .~esigners on virtu!!lly ~:U teams. This is clear!y etsnoct


Irom the overarcr.inq role of a,rcl1i1ec!s concerns fli previa us regime!'. or urban deslqn and tplan· ninq, where sucn 'peripheral'
WEI'!!

i lies

co nl ro nti ng any 'wo rk a t this sea lie.

uDi!or~Urni!t,evlct im 01 it Anotller e)(gl'l1 pre of lsndscapa urbanlsrn as a pralessiona.1 framework iisWesl S':sredevelopment p~al1lor!h~ Borneo and Spoirenburg Harbor, This I~.rge-

PerUcu'!ar! y corn peII!Ingis t he complex T rnte


weavi'ng 0] nalu'r<ll ~.wloqie~ wilh the social, CUltural, arid infrastructurel con'ltemporary dtv. While oolh Koolhaas/OMA with gra.pl1ic deslcner tlayers 01 the

scale redevelopment
enormous orchestrated [andscepe

fs

conceived

as an
project

(in par~ners~i~
Maul ancl

either a't}senl altogether ~ecoloCjY} or simply subsumec I'1lt:hin the professlonel practice of thearchited (inlormation !lesi9n.).
Wl1iIe it rerna iins unclear if 'EUhe:r 0 f th8 wi,nning schemes by Koolh.aas/OMA <md Mal.!

urbanism

Snuce

by West 8.,into w~ich Itn'ilwork

01 rJumerous other a:rchit'ecl'$ and designers is oifga·l1izec:l. The projec!


maximizes

slmu!t:am:ously
the'

diversity ollderntitythmll~h

in:ser!:fo n oj cou n tilass ~anclsc,a ped' co uris and yards and Itleo;lmmissioni'ng 01 numerQUo

Tschumi submitted entries as finalists at Downsview,lhls time lihey fOlind thelr hislori· rcaI lor tunes more or less prec i se~y reverseo, The iconic and sound Ibite rriem~lIy Koo!h,aas/OMA and Mau sc'heme "Tree Ciity"' was awan:h?d IJrst prize and the commission,
while tile more ~ulJlime, iayereLfi, awnoimtellet;< tual:ly cha'lIernqing scheme of th.e' ofl~ce

lor DovlIl.:>vrew or Comer <lnd A~ie~/r[eld


Operations for Fresll KNIIsis aclua'llyimple'

mentec. !t should oe uncers tood' .a S <I I re ~iI!J


cf polHicilJl imetJgir1<ltio~ and cutturalleadership rat her I han of the compel~ Ii om processes

auc;hilects

ami

d-esigUlsrs.

Taken

the diversity of West 8's recent p~oducUon il!usHates the pot~!'ltla~ lcr landscape ar·chitedure to overhke plai'ni'ting as
together, I~e discipline responsiole lor reordering post-ino IJ slffa ~IU rb<mism. rRO'" L.A VIL.L.EHE fODQ'WNSviEW
ANO F'RE.S"

or

or the project:; V,ey generated. Taken conecI~v.ely"these prolects t:ompelitors mations aOld ttle \'Iofk 01 bheiu

Bernard Ts.chum I will doubllll!ss .enjo'Y greater

attest to the proloun ~ ITa nst orlliSGiplir1J<lfY OInd Pfolessl,ooa!

i~fluen(;ewilh'in <lr(hiiecturil~ cujture, Ipartku la "Iy as the int~r mal ion age transforms our 1,lfldersta.fld~ng OInd IJse Qf tli:e nalUf<l1. Tschu m 1"s "Th,e [ligHa I aM!he Coyole proj· ed lor OO\\lns'~ie\!l tpre5ented aneleclronic
H

01 Ihe

ass~mpl[ons Ih,at: ·currently

dirive Il1e des.1.Qn


evh1enl

oll~e btJi~t rwironmenl, Partkularly e

KILLS int'ern,aiiona,1 design ccmpeli-

aflfliog! to his longi<stam:Jil1q interest

unmoan of

Severallr'ecent

events, wah (fen!"

delailed

dia,grams

is 'Ih~ ra,ct t~al proj..d5 of this &~aie ilUld 5iq nilicance dem and prol,eSSi na I e~~er tis'e'a i o t h,e i ntersecl ions o,recot:ogy a rid @ ~ginee~ing and social policy aCid pomicai process, fhe
synlnesis ollh~s, rang,e of Imow~edge and lis

tio ns 'lor the reus eol €I normous ~y scaled imlljshial sites in Nodh Am'8,ricilll dli .. s,
have u5e'd ~llnds,cape as tlieir OO\llns~iew primary medium.

succ,ess~onplanting a I'\d 111 se e.d Ing 01a:mb~· e


en! urbalnitv ~nthe midst 01 seemim;llydeso· late prairies. and Tschumi's, Is VHleHe positiollS a~e slrikinqly at Downsvi'ew

am I.HJbH( de.sign processes remmmen.d faMscape u.irbanism as a dijscipli'


embOdiment nar'y framework 1'0" reC:Ollceiv~ng where we
@

slie, 01 a.Ii, abandoned

Park. IQcatedon the military airbase in

consis'!en! in li'leir indi~!ment5 of tM lliine,·

live <lnd how we live there+

WAlDIiEUiI:

LANDSCAPE

URBANISM

17

fhR

I:..j[rr~

N~wr.;!l~el'"!1!ent~

Of'l;;Iam]zad In IIlI~mS'anld~~II~· st.ll~{II graool~ :b;;IInCl~ i!i!r;~r~te ~ l!he. undecnic-ab1ear!mDI:!

Dul·Cb 1~ruf,lt.",,_ The Shell F'loje<l. Vi.... , Ad ...... Go",. J \liMI a


unmlrn:D~ AI~hIIMI."

iJ.' :thi:!

L rr r: Th" l",plomontmlQ<1 <>1 W~5t


a's "'lloMJilita'l s.-trilt.ecrl' ~"'_,Ible~U~.l' 01
A~r[I)O(t L:ln(jM~pel

o!:>.tmg'. S[iI'lp~c!
A ~lE!!f"'~ir'I~

.qfm~ .;111

T"llp~. MrlMn ("wu '111.,1 S


LandSCilj)~ MChliMI s, pMCil.O IJV JerOll"'M"~!l.

HDT'E:S
1. I [oinl!!d Lh~ lenm "li3li1.dst.alPi1! m'bani~m" in l'9.!lJ6ba~~d Oril (OIWer:i!lJ 1,lcm. wmll Jii miYs CorlJ1iii!r
::;~~'.;!I~ Om

Cootradidlooi"
"-rt.'~M). ~'h(! noti.onJ o. f!1~ndiI

An:~iloduro !H." ¥ork; M"~.um <;>1 'Mod~n 111.ory 01 Gooo' C~tv rDrm '(C~mb<lcIg.;·MiT
[r~~e~lfc:h

Col IJrntJ.lotl Oocuments

(N!i:W

Y{)U::: COh.i mtJ.:i."!iLlIili';liorsit"Vii O!M!~ Retlill'lkMIT Ploss.

~9S.'.~~.1c

1D.J(•• ln j_rM~. /J.


P"{Ii;!:5.~.

Zs. S~.lo' ex~",~r~. ur~ l~cru~, ·,Ii... ~M


I~g I!'e !;M.r~p

urtianivm."

TIlI~sneoroqtsm

fu~rfIoo tht!- ba~~:5.Of

19:0;11). {1,1~OJ lrlb:;:h'~e~r~ie'r'emtl-ll:"~~1 ~~

rn

o!ls:' A!tt'f the City (C~mbrlda':

,oDle",n •• 01:III.

Gr~h.", r",urod.I;".

1m, QI'ico~o' (1991) and

~... ~" "I the Citv (C.rn.ri.~o:


'11..AI'd'o ~5.sI

MIT I'iE$$. i9'6Q),_

2DOO~•.47,61. Z9. R:~n; KO(II"o~~ "M!~M"''' So M.I..~XL. E>:l'5. .27. AmOI"i~ rl:Je: :SOUI"(~~ O'f 'Ii'll:$. m~UQ:riolJlor inLiI!i'e:U
ltecl~
ro:rrn8ln. lo ~i"Qhi-

liE-1M acaeemtc Ili'eqf,arns in s['fiIool~. I~rr.:ife:hit~ Lljr~ ..:d~.tle

pmvldes Ih.e rno5~ ~lqllllfl(".ant or '~h;I!'~e rU]lJl,je~ ~

U.I"~r'IIV or llilnol; ~I Chl<~~~ ~r.d Ih~ IIrchll.(lut~1


oatlon
irllQI'II;I~ iI

As_inumareus

S~e R"",!_ The· Ard,ile<.i~,... o~ Ih~ Cl~'1!'a .. 1:i'I~~e; Miil'


Pr~II"I~a.)-

The I~m

hils since

be-erl used

fur l!luaIf.e.mk

((]ur'lC!:i aL

lI.iut.c,1y [II in:stltutkm:s; in.~r'naiUDn!!II". ....'io ••

S-'JI'fl'"IPM"I2I.and Iertures, """,.1 dor j,j~pr"I .ar'ldl!rl:;tand~iq"'_

and a~ ~ ilIl?~trlpLitJn,or.:til ~.m.e'~ii"l~

12_ IIolllu,'1 and ',co,t a"",.rs "or~ 1.IMl~~i""~ ~'iM~5~ I~i~'· ests. see Rot!lert 'I1ellll url nenlse $.OJU' 9lrmm, and s.teven
~i:enDlJr, leml'1inn F'lDrn
L,.il;S

anclla~d~c.aDC ~~(JIII~I S ;1 lic!d o(Q/oQist ~I<M td 1. T_


S,i]'~ 'i.';.!NI.(ih~
E,

Drli

m~tatl~

J,[Jjrn13S

0., GI-soll.

and

Fil('\h~rd f.

IIlr.tit1'looo~1~I'>I!;c~l>t> r(hi11>clurc ~

Qf A",hitW"1.Ir~1 Wo,m ((;~",brioge:

:2_ 51,," Mon. "Uo! U,toani,m: 111" T~kk 2-D." i~ CA,SE, LA!
COilrusiE'li"s ventre rHG'S~.I~al,; Hashim Sdni~, (Mufli~ 11: ed.

i3.Ch.,I •• Jomh. p"!lmod~mar<:~iie'

Tho L...

fure (Neo..... OrIi!;~ 'Rtz.ziJIJ"1977~. Or.. Irmdlsm ;!illd It~ r~21'l~ V

~u.~. 0'
I,ur

rr. FQ:rmrJ;!fi., L,.1i'!d'~o!!~

Ec;o~QY

Pri'filc:ipr-!!5 in Land-

Ve.gi;ll~=The F'ol'.gEiI1~1lISymDoIt-i:M IProm. '19n1. tu

'Ica~~ "',r< I'.cct..,r~ a~" L~M·~~~ Pt~n" ;ug (CM1ibM~'" n


t~o~s. aM l'Ia~I\;~glon. i>lm .. 1996~. ~SC'e CorflQr., "'L~flc:!~n",(!
3~

D.C..: HM.ard

Un;'N~U~

~ lid I;! •• d

PO$t·j,!o(l~mArc~lte"·

Poe>i~~ 2Mlii. i:;4.


~.C(lmer formLilII.j]ted rnLJ[f,.of lIi!i, thlnl'Linq ali lI~bcIll1i:5ll1Jnl t n!:!1990~ [hrolil~h InqUllwlt<lpi!" .!Lhii~I'~

ril nelStGape~nd
"'Co.n$lruct·
1~94~
oi~, ~Ilo!ip'

tWCi oonlil!r~noe-:o_;

S(h~.m~ch~ .. ana·~hrlSI· tan ROQneJ. uAU~~rr f'iQrd, ....in Sl.;lll kh, ~ Ooe\rgU., ~JiJI~= GeQrqfa D2isk2ilal<i:5\, Ch.~lrl!,5 Wi:iI'd:-liIE!irm" and Ji!scn Ycun.q: (eaocC!rana=
JiCT'M>:" 20[)1J. 48"56c M.Ho",;wj
iIIBd

~u.~. P.i,l~ ~.e

Urbanism;'

Te-rra Flu:-:u:s..'"

Z!>I. Rlc .. ~,a 1'ICIr~r, ·uj)a~c.&~o Me~il"~ to '" .in ~ I he Cilv ~o"," Imo~!,,~c~iPl: ba~c~on -l'om.~rd At 101 Inlr.!lt<.OCI"t'oO an

in I~e T~eo'V' and


.Aro[J~Hed

~«'""Y 01La"d"~n"" <l\Jchit ec!".~1A5~C'lalio""


~illl.'"

01 ~M~~I'iMI~, 19'.131 ~M ··TM ilpiletlr

"'~Cllcc "r ContC'm~~rlir~ LM~'c.p.; ur~'; 1t'~'In",~~ ~tJ·dre~s. M ESH C(lnn~reneJl!i. IW'fi!ll

Unl,~"'lt~", lHl>.i1n DMIQ"


di!i{:ip.inl;." Qrli;!~ in

P,OIl'"'" I>~'IM1o,19~O"
ln~r~.a~~i;1 ~mo'l~

tAerbol,ir.e 11"llltute o! T~C,"r.or~g't ~I~Our~,;. A,,;t,ali~, 9 M JU~t<;OOlJ. 30. On ..... OIo,k 01 ildrl~.~
~''''P'' "",hl.teel i," III lIi:lJt!5:'n~tlon.i1 Laflld~ca,pCi' CC"l~/\"li:l!.l s ~M -W,;!.t S Land-

of tlite papers '~rom .1\tI-5e

I(rnlr~ren[e5.

the

pcputa

r'i,y !Nitti

~:eNi

in Jilim~:s; .comC!il"':s. r!l!!l:~'nt a,lll,hadiJIl;I'l-" or ~~:io!U ~aods~.:it.II~' i'thite[ a

ml

monls,

i'1K1€!".3,s!:!di numbers
I1~U

iJf del;;lri!!!iH5;:[lm'rl!'r~I!I" CIInd t!:'u: i


,dlJlrng

$(.~~. .i~m~'Connor ~tl,e,yl re,'; ~d..


Pr~~I'l~)_
4..$J(li!

~:emp(J;rary

ture, RE!~o"'il!t~nQ ,L:i PlC!I'rl,,,,,lo" Archil.c·l .. r~1

,pd!d1Er.t!n oi

degree :prOl]JarDs

the 19:7(1s.llflld ao.s.

H~I LM!d:~cM ITI!~L~ no ;e.ope; r:ou",


ICla,iQf'lldf~ (A"~twE!ji'p,: (.I'E-SinQ~J~ cf

1S_S,i~n A Ite~. "M' t U,t>.nl!m: Th~ Th",~ :·0:


Cor~tIl'le'~

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